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Please help I'm losing it! 8 week old day time catnaps

(11 Posts)
Nicky2468 Wed 24-May-17 15:46:48

I'm in need of help as I'm desperate. Hardly getting any sleep and getting very little done and generally struggling to stay afloat really!

8 week old only manages 20/30mins sleep at a go throughout the day - that's on his own. So I get him off to a deep sleep (20mins) in my arms then put him down where he only manages a short catnap.

I feel like I've tried everything to get him to sleep for longer........swinging chair, sleepyhead, dark room, light room, quiet room, noisy room, buggy, car seat, dummy, white noise, making stay awake longer, really tiring him out in the awake bits, making be awake for a short time, bath in the morning as well as at night, swaddling, raising the head end of his basket, leaving him to settle himself, giving a quick cuddle then putting him back down, going back a few time to put his dummy in once he's awake etc but nothing works! (I've tried all this things over the last few weeks).

He has to be swaddled otherwise he would only sleep a few mins on his own as his reflex is very strong. He'll sleep longer on me (sling, in arms and snuggled up against me on the bed - could do a couple of hours during those).

He doesn't take much milk still - maybe 100mls/3oz and that's usually over 30 mins (he needs a little break from feeding during that time) every 2 hours, sometimes less!

At night he's better (sleeps for 2/3 hours at a time from 7.30 - 4) then he wakes himself up crying because of trouble with wind so I bring him in with me where he's better.

Am I doing something wrong, missing something or is it just the way he is until older? It's so hard when it's not getting better and you only see the next day as the same - over and over again!!

I'd be so grateful if any advice and words of encouragement please!

2014newme Wed 24-May-17 15:51:57

Normal. It is tiring. I had twins it was hard. It does get better.

FATEdestiny Wed 24-May-17 16:21:10

Short naps are quite normal. Tgeckey to ensuring baby gets enough sleep is to keep naps very frequent. So, for example, your day may consist of repeating cycles of:m

Wake
Feed (on and off for 30 minutes)
Wind / cuddle (5-10 minutes)
Nappy check / floor play (until grumpy, maybe 5-20 minutes)
Sleep
Wake and repeat.

Beachhairdontcare Wed 24-May-17 16:24:14

Urrrggghh. I feel your pain.

What milk is he on? what are poos like?

fluffandsnuff Wed 24-May-17 16:29:44

It's very normal and does get better- although maybe not as quickly as you would hope.

For a while I couldnt even put DS down to nap- so he would sleep on my tummy whilst I laid on the bed and mumsnetted. It was done safely and you would need to work out if that would be something for you or not (for example if you are a deep sleeper who would nap who rolls definitely not).

Otherwise white noise- think kitchen extractor fan or white noise apps on phones.

If it goes on for a while you could try the no cry sleep solution- I never fully used it but reading the method was somehow comforting.

lifesjoys Wed 24-May-17 16:31:47

shock have you been to my house & met my son?? hmm I could have wrote this word for word!

I feel for you op, I am going through exactly the same, DS is 8 weeks too

jb1305uk Wed 24-May-17 17:54:10

Hi, my wee one was like this and still cat naps at 7 months with the occasional decent nap. It's just the norm I'm afraid.

Things I done to survive: co-sleep for naps if I needed sleep as LO slept for a few hours that way, hold LO whilst they slept and watch a box set lol, put LO in bouncer/swing for 15 mins whilst I showered or tidied- just took it from room to room with me. I accepted that my house wouldn't be as tidy as normal but that it wasn't forever.

Things got much better around 3 months as LO became more alert and was easier to keep entertained. At 7 months it's much better, night time sleep has drastically improved, although we still have our moments.

Just try to survive and take a day at a time!

Stonecirclegal Thu 01-Jun-17 10:46:27

Thanks for all your advice.

Fate - that's similar to the routine I already do except he likes a feed before he 'goes' to sleep and I like to think he's full before a sleep so I could technically get him to sleep longer!

Beach - he's on Aptamil and generally pooing fine except has been off since his vaccinations.

Lifesjoys - nice to know there's others out there in a similar situation too. How's it all going now?!

Jb- I'm crossing everything that things will improve at 3 months - just 2 weeks to go!!

For the day time naps should I be doing the whole 'put them down when drowsy after a feed and letting them try and self settle - leaving them to cry for a few mins)?! I've tried it a few times (although not consistently) but he doesn't go off and hollers for 15/20mins (I pop in and out). Maybe me holding him asleep then putting him in his basket means that when he stirs and semi wakes up there he wonders where the hell he (and I) am and panics?!

Do most of you do this at bedtime already;

Bath and change
Feed (not fall asleep on bottle) and burp
Swaddle and cuddle
Put in bed drowsy but not asleep
Pat and stroke for 1 min
Leave room saying 'night'
(Leaving him cry for a few mins and going in to re-burp and say 'night' again)
Then repeating going in after a few mins of crying to stroke and say 'night'?!

X

chloechloe Thu 01-Jun-17 12:26:55

It's exhausting isn't it!?

Re the short naps, both of my girls were exactly the same and would only nap for precisely 30 min. I can set my watch by them. With my first I drove myself crazy trying to get her to sleep for longer as the books said she should. I would have been much happier if I'd just accepted it. I've since learnt that catnaps are common and many babies are not developmentally ready to link their sleep cycles until 6-9 months. With my first she suddenly started napping longer at 8 months. My second is 5.5 months and we're still in catnap hell land, but I just accept it and am much happier!

I think all you can do is try to make sure she has regular naps, with 1 to 1.5 hours max between naps. If she'll sleep for longer on you (quite usual as then you can resettle the second she starts to stir) then do it when it suits you. I often curl up on the sofa with DD2 if the weather is crap or there is something I want to watch on TV. Let your domestic standards slip a bit, it's not forever and the snuggly baby age is short - you have the rest of your life to do housework!

Regarding self settling, I do think it's important for babies to learn but there is no point pushing it if they're not ready and need lots of help to fall asleep. I use the Baby Whisperer technique of putting baby swaddled in bed with dummy and white noise and patting her to sleep. This way she falls asleep in her own bed and you can gradually use less patting. At this stage I would stay there until your little boy falls asleep if he's crying as soon as you leave. You'll probably find that he gets used to the routine and if you have nights where he seems calm and content then try by all means to leave whilst he's awake. At this stage I really wouldn't leave him to cry at all - he needs you and he needs to know that you will come to comfort him. With time he'll need you less.

DD1 is now 2 and an amazing sleeper, going to sleep on her own and rarely calling for us in the night. I have to say that it took hours of work over many months to get her to that point but the hard work really paid off. She learnt to settle herself but also that we will be there for her when she needs us (which still happens when she's sick or when the new baby arrived etc).

Hope that helps!

FATEdestiny Thu 01-Jun-17 13:23:38

Theres no reason to leave your 3 month old to cry. I certainly wouldn't.

If you want baby sleeping independantly, I'd suggest establishing a dummy. These at the ideal no-crying independant sleep solution.

lifesjoys Thu 01-Jun-17 14:50:24

Have faith op!

My DS is 10 weeks Monday, his sleep has dramatically improved.

He has a dummy but has had since birth however he relies on it that little bit more.

I now have a routine for him, for bedtime.

Feed
Activity
Bath
Swaddle
Bed

Then go in as many times as is necessary to put his dummy back in, each time I tell him il see him when he wakes up.

Unfortunately sometimes he is left to cry solely because I'm stuck on the toilet or in the shower!

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